This article originally appeared in Monrovia Weekly.
Nick Hernandez had to wait three games last year before getting the chance to start as quarterback for Monrovia High School’s varsity football team, but once he started he never looked back. Hernandez took the team from a 0-3 record to 5-6 at the end of the year, losing in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 9 playoffs.
Along the way to the playoffs, Hernandez tossed for 24 touchdowns, 2,213 yards, and eight interceptions. He completed 68.1 percent of his passes with a 129.7 quarterback rating.
“After three weeks, they decided to give me a shot and it turned out pretty well,” Hernandez said. “That first touchdown pass on varsity is something I’ll never forget. It was special with the crowd and the band on Friday night under the lights.”
Hernandez, 17, looks to improve further this year and lead the team further in the playoffs.
“I think it’s everyone’s goal, but this year I think we can really win our division of CIF. We have great athletes,” he said. “This year feels like it’s going to be something special.”
To achieve this, Hernandez has worked on improving his speed and arm strength in the offseason. He aims to toss for more than 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns this season.
“I want to break records at Monrovia,” he said. “I just want to contribute to the team. I don’t want to let them down at all.”
Outside of football, Hernandez likes to play video games or other sports in his free time. He also plays shooting guard for Monrovia’s basketball team.
A Monrovia native, Hernandez said he wants to play football in college. Although he hasn’t received any official offers yet, he has been in communication with an NCAA Division One program and is hopeful he will get an offer there in the coming months. Hernandez plans on studying engineering in college.
For now, Hernandez is focused on getting ready for this season.
“I’m more of a competitor than people think. I want to win every game we play,” he said. “I’ll do anything for my team.”